Vegas books took bets, and took a bath, on the draft

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Sports books in Nevada are now allowed to take bets on the NFL draft, and this year that turned out to be good for bettors and bad for the house.

The Westgate and William Hill sports books both lost money on a draft that turned out to be unpredictable, according to ESPN.

A common type of bet in Las Vegas is which of two players will be chosen first. This year a bad one for the sports books was whether Saquon Barkley would go ahead of Josh Rosen. The sports books set the odds in Rosen’s favor, figuring in today’s NFL a quarterback is a safe bet to go ahead of a running back. But most of the bettors put their money on Barkley, and when Barkley did go first the bettors won money and the house lost.

In the past Nevada did not allow betting on the NFL draft, but last year the law was changed. Next year, if the Supreme Court overturns the law preventing states other than Nevada to permit sports betting, the NFL draft could become a huge betting holiday around the country.

24 responses to “Vegas books took bets, and took a bath, on the draft

  1. Odd that those that set the odds in Vegas could miss such a simple thing-they are usually spot on.

    Sure, it is a QB driven league-but Rosen acts like such a tool.

  2. How is it controlled in the Sports book? Do they shut off best once a team is on the clock? Pretty easy for greed to takeover when there are people who know the results.

  3. Name me one NFL draft that was predictable? Even when you had Luck, and RGIII, there was some debate on who would go first. Same with Manning and Leaf.

  4. .
    I can’t recall seeing one mock draft that had Rosen going before Barkley. Most have Darnold or Mayfield going #1 and almost all had the Giants taking Barkley at two. Even the casual bettor would have taken a piece of that action.
    .

  5. I would never bet on the draft.

    Name me one mock draft that was better than 75% true in the last 20 years. Too unpredictable. We didn’t even know which QB would go first. When does that ever happen? Very rare.

  6. Im not sure why Vegas cared about the law one way or another. Some things just because it might become possible to bet on them does not mean its a good idea. The NFL draft is one of those things.

  7. The ultimate decision makers at the top of each year’s draft are in a position to turn their inside knowledge into a boat load of extra money. Of course they won’t personally be placing the bets, but family members or old friends may. I’m not preaching, just pointing out that temptation to make a 100% sure bet will be incredibly strong. It could also put an NFL General Manager in a position to be blackmailed, threatened, or worse.

  8. thirdand43 says:
    April 30, 2018 at 9:09 am

    The ultimate decision makers at the top of each year’s draft are in a position to turn their inside knowledge into a boat load of extra money. Of course they won’t personally be placing the bets, but family members or old friends may. I’m not preaching, just pointing out that temptation to make a 100% sure bet will be incredibly strong. It could also put an NFL General Manager in a position to be blackmailed, threatened, or worse.
    ________________________
    The amount of money you can bet on draft picks is very limited, the people making these final draft decisions are mostly already wealthy, and the risk to ones career/business for engaging in such an activity for such relatively small gains in a highly monitored sector is not worth it.

  9. Wow – that’s a really bad job by the linesmakers. that’s like Setting a line on a game and then not changing it even after you find out the favorites star quarterback blew out his knee in practice.

    it was very clear as early as a week before the draft that Barkley was going number two and Rosen’s stock was dropping. I don’t think there was a prognosticator in the world as of the weekend before the draft who would have said Rosen had any chance of going before Barkley

  10. thirdand43 says:
    April 30, 2018 at 9:09 am
    The ultimate decision makers at the top of each year’s draft are in a position to turn their inside knowledge into a boat load of extra money. Of course they won’t personally be placing the bets, but family members or old friends may. I’m not preaching, just pointing out that temptation to make a 100% sure bet will be incredibly strong. It could also put an NFL General Manager in a position to be blackmailed, threatened, or worse.
    ——————————————————-
    Excellent points. Anyone could be compromised due to huge gambling money. Take, say, a Super Bowl coach who benches his starting CB for unknown reasons and leaves him chained to the bench while his team gets roasted by a back-up QB. Ya, I’m still P’O’d!

  11. geofferypeterson says:
    April 30, 2018 at 9:59 am

    it was very clear as early as a week before the draft that Barkley was going number two
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Really? I never heard that before from anyone until after the draft, at which time everyone instantly becomes a genius.

  12. The whole point of setting the line is to have a balanced book. If the Vegas bookmakers lost money, they are just incompetent.

  13. To anyone thinking that betting on the draft is bad legislation, worry about your own life. If Vegas loses money, they will soon find a way to stop that. If the bettors lose money, it was evitable, to begin with, it could be the draft or the next sporting event, anybody who wants to fleece Vegas already knows the risks.

  14. walker1191 says:
    April 30, 2018 at 10:52 am
    geofferypeterson says:
    April 30, 2018 at 9:59 am

    it was very clear as early as a week before the draft that Barkley was going number two
    ————————————————————————————————————–
    Really? I never heard that before from anyone until after the draft, at which time everyone instantly becomes a genius.

    ————

    No one was talking about Barkley going to the Giants at number two? Are you kidding me? It was so prevalent that people were writing articles condemning the pick before they even made it.

  15. I’m no expert, but this looks like Vegas “taking a bath” for a reason.

    Vegas putting its money on Rosen over Barkley? That’s crazy, right? Too good to pass up, right?

    Well, with that little “bath”, Vegas just earned a ton of people feeling good about betting on the draft, and a raft of free advertising after the fact through word of mouth (“dude, look what I just won on the draft!”) and articles like this one.

    In other words, this “bath” looks a lot like an investment to me.

  16. jimbo75025 says:
    April 30, 2018 at 7:22 am
    Odd that those that set the odds in Vegas could miss such a simple thing-they are usually spot on.

    No they aren’t, and the odds are set by bettors in the end. Oddsmakers take an educated guess on what will equalize bets, then people bet on it and it drives the odds and/or spread. It isn’t a predictive science, it is a financial one.

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